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Monday, February 14, 2005

"we may and ought to forsake her"

How shocking! Read the link above, a commentary on 1 Tim 3. The shocking part is the commentary about 1 Tim 3:15, where the Church is referred to as the "pillar and foundation of truth". The commentary says: "When a church ceases to be the pillar and ground of truth, we may and ought to forsake her; for our regard to truth should be first and greatest." (copyright Biola University) What sort of pillar and ground of truth is that? Did Christ establish a Church on poor foundations then? Not so! For the Lord promised: "upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it." (Matt 16:18) The commentary is saying otherwise: the Church can be overpowered by heresy and her faithful members should abandon her to do.. what? Establish a new one??? The problem is twofold: rationalizing schism as somehow faithful to Christ's will and promise is a very big stretch of pretzel-shaped-backward-bending proportions, and trusting "the faithful" to determine when to abandon the church is just unrealistic. How sad. Does this reflect common Protestant thought? It seems to contradict Scripture. Luther's initial impulse, guided by good intentions, was reform, not revolt. Apparently, this was also true for some of the other Protestant leaders of the 16th century. A schism was never acceptable in orthodox thought, and St. Paul spoke against it. If schism was an option, then there is no visible, final court of appeals, and that just contradicts a Church established by Christ to be rock solid, even with the gates of Hell against it. It simply goes against what St. Paul must have had in mind when he wrote "pillar and foundation of truth."

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